Two water main breaks

UPDATE: According to the Lewes BPW, as of 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, the water is safe to consume and there is no need to continue boiling it.

In addition, the Savannah Road bridge reopened at 3:30 p.m. Gills Neck Road remains closed in that vicinity.

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Lewes residents are being told to boil their water after two water main breaks in the area of the Savannah Road bridge construction overnight.

The first break occurred in around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11. Water was shut off citywide at 3:30 a.m. the morning of Friday, Jan. 12, in order to make repairs and was then restored around 7 a.m.

A second water main break occurred around 7 a.m. as well, but according to Lewes Board of Public Works General Manager Darrin Gordon, that incident only affected two homes.

“Ultimately, it’s always a guess, but I think the weather had something to do with it,” he said. “[The first break] was a crack. In plumbing terms, we were able to fix it with a clamp. It never separated; there was always water coming out. Nothing went in.”

Still, the City of Lewes emailed residents, advising them that since there was a chance pressure had been lost and microbial contamination had occurred, they should boil their water before drinking.

“The email was an overabundance of caution on the state’s part … and we are supporting them in that,” Gordon said. “We have confidence in the water’s quality and safety.”

The Lewes BPW will receive water testing results tomorrow morning to confirm its safety. In the meantime, Lewes resident are advised to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice.

Due to the water main breaks, progress in the refurbishment of the Savannah Road bridge was delayed. It was scheduled to reopen on Saturday, Jan. 13, but is now expected to open early next week.